Meet Volunteer Advocates Katelyn Brough and Austin Trees

Meet Volunteer Advocates Katelyn Brough and Austin Trees

Jun 06 2017

“We both grew up in big families, surrounded by love and people that would do anything for us,” says Katelyn Brough. “We want to be there for kids who don’t have that.” 

Katelyn had been volunteering with CASA of Travis County for three years when she met Austin Trees during a night out with friends. They hit it off right away, bonding over their ambitions, love of the outdoors, and playful spirits. 

Hearing about Katelyn’s work and seeing her dedication to kids inspired Austin, so he applied to volunteer with CASA, too. Read More

From CASA Volunteer to Foster Parent

From CASA Volunteer to Foster Parent

May 30 2017

Amy Forget is a planner, through and through. So when, in her late 30s, she decided to get more serious about having children, she thought seriously about her options. The fertility route was not for her and she questioned why birthparents would choose her for open adoptions. (“I couldn’t even find adoption agencies that would work with a single woman in her 40s,” she explained.) Amy landed on becoming a foster parent. “I’m an analytical person and when I looked at it, adoption from foster care seemed the most likely path.”

Becoming a foster parent, though, has its challenges. “It scared me because I knew nothing about foster care,” she said.  “I’d heard horror stories.” One story in particular worried Amy, that of friends who had been part of a failed foster placement. Read More

The State of Foster Care in the 85th Texas Legislative Session

The State of Foster Care in the 85th Texas Legislative Session

May 24 2017

The 85th Regular Session ends on May 29th, and the legislature has precious days left to conduct business. It will be a fast and furious week as they attempt to resolve many issues deemed important by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and House Speaker. For this session, Governor Abbott named Child Protective Services reform as an emergency item, and House Speaker Strauss listed it as one of his legislative priorities. In response, over 300 bills were filed directly related to child welfare, double that of the last session. Some of these bills are helpful and much needed, and some have been caught up in partisan politics.

For CASA, legislative work is handled mostly by Texas CASA. Read More

Using Your Past as Your Determination

Using Your Past as Your Determination

May 18 2017

Jeffier (Je-fear) Dawson entered foster care at age five along with her two older sisters and one older brother. She stayed in the system until she aged out at 18. Today, as part of National Foster Care Month, Jeffier shares some of her experiences around the complicated issue of adoption, and discusses her own personal determination to succeed after aging out.

I had been told a lot that once you reach your teen years it’s harder to be adopted. I had always wanted to be adopted with my older sisters. When I was 14, my oldest sister graduated and transitioned out of foster care, and I was able to see that I was also going to transition out. I really understood that for myself I needed to focus not so much on who my mom or parents were, but instead I needed to focus on school.

I didn’t want to give up hope, the hope of having a home... Read More

Six “I Can’ts” About Foster Parenting Debunked

Six “I Can’ts” About Foster Parenting Debunked

May 11 2017

In the face of something as daunting as foster care, it can be easy to come up with reasons why we can’t be a foster parent or why we shouldn’t. However, with a shortage of foster parents in Austin, it’s important that more people step up to say “I can.” We asked four of our Child Advocacy Specialists, Tess Gillespie, Will Vese, Rushmi Karim-Paris and Dana Narveson, to help us debunk six of the most common “I can’ts” about foster parenting. Here are their responses:

I’m too old to be a foster parent.

“There is no age limit on being a foster parent..." Read More